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Sailing away

David on Plastiki

The whole world in his hand

Nearing Fiji

In the waters off Fiji

On board Plastiki

During the journey

Waving good-bye

Sailing away

Plastiki at Golden Gate Bridge

Away from the dock

Vertical garden

Many bottles

Smiling

Three crew smiling

The boat

Solar panels

Shoving off

At dock

Bottles joined

Barking over bottles

Releasing the bottle

The bottle

At 9:30 a.m. on March 20, 2010, precisely on time, the Plastiki, a "boat made of 12,000 plastic bottles," and the brainchild of banking heir David de Rothschild, set sail from a berth in Sausalito, Calif., just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, on its way to Australia.

The Plastiki was not just the world's first boat made buoyant by discarded soda bottles. It was also a statement about the world's garbage problem, and the fact that most plastic bottles are thrown away rather than recycled. The goal was to sail 11,000 nautical miles to Sydney, Australia.

Among the inspirations for the project was the Kon Tiki expedition, Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 trip across the Pacific in a boat that was a reproduction of an Inca raft.

And in keeping with tradition, the Plastiki paid even more homage to Heyerdahl. Among the six crew members was Olav Heyerdahl, Thor's grandson.

The Plastiki boat did eventually complete the journey, arriving in Sydney on July 26, 2010.

Now, de Rothschild has published "Plastiki--Across the Pacific on Plastic: An Adventure to Save our Oceans," his memoir of the project from beginning to end.

Complete with stories of the inspirations for the project, as well as memories of the construction of the boat, and of course, the journey itself, "Plastiki" is the definitive tome about a project that captured imaginations across the globe.

Here, in this photograph from the book, the Plastiki is seen sailing in open waters.

Caption by / Photo by Matthew Grey
In this photo from the book, David de Rothschild is seen aboard the boat, having just sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on the date of departure.
Caption by / Photo by Plastiki
In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen standing on the Plastiki, balancing a globe in his hand.
Caption by / Photo by Plastiki
In this image from the book, the Plastiki is seen approaching Fiji.
Caption by / Photo by Plastiki
In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen snorkeling just off Fiji.
Caption by / Photo by Plastiki
In this image from the book, de Rothschild is seen having a good time aboard the Plastiki.
Caption by / Photo by Plastiki
In this image from the book, de Rothschild (left) is seen talking to a fellow crew member while the Plastiki was at sea.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Grey
Here, Plastiki crew members wave good-bye from the boat just as it begins its four-month journey from Sausalito, Calif., to Sydney, Australia.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Just a minute after launch, Plastiki is already fading into the horizon.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Here, we see the Plastiki just after it passed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Its journey to Australia would take just over four months.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Plastiki, an all-plastic boat made with more than 12,000 plastic bottles, set sail from Sausalito, Calif., for Sydney, Australia, on March 20, 2010. Here, it is seen just as it begins to move away from the dock in Sausalito.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The Plastiki featured what de Rothschild called a "vertical garden," which grew up the mast and allowed the crew to have fresh herbs and other veggies. Also seen here is the boat's Inmarsat communications system.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The Plastiki is made entirely out of plastic, including more than 12,000 bottles like these.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Plastiki expedition leader David de Rothschild (left) talked to another crew member just minutes before the all-plastic boat set sail from Sausalito, Calif.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
From the left, expedition leader David de Rothschild, co-skipper Jo Royle, and co-skipper David Thompson smiled for cameras just before departure.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
Fans of the Plastiki expedition can read all about the project at ThePlastiki.com. And now, they can read expedition leader David de Rothschild's official account of the project in his new book, "Plastiki--Across the Ocean on Plastic: An Adventure to Save our Oceans."
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
These solar panels helped power Plastiki on its journey across the sea.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
At 9:30 a.m. Pacific time on March 20, 2010, the shore crew pushed the boat away from the dock, and its 11,000 nautical mile journey was under way.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The Plastiki as seen from shore as it and its crew prepared for launch from Sausalito, Calif.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The thousands of bottles were fused at the top and the bottom, and together, they kept the boat afloat.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
The dog wanted everyone to know just how much it wanted to go on the expedition. It didn't get to go.
Caption by / Photo by Daniel Terdiman/CNET
One side project that Plastiki expedition leader David de Rothschild helped out with during the journey was to help artist Jay Little track a message in a bottle across the ocean. Here, de Rothschild prepared to release the bottle into t the Pacific Ocean last April. The bottle has a special satellite tag inside that allows it to be tracked on a daily basis. It currently is somewhere near The Philippines.
Caption by / Photo by The Plastiki Expedition
The bottle, including its satellite tag.
Caption by / Photo by The Plastiki Expedition
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